Philomath City Hall
Philomath City Hall (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath City Council approved a contract with Moore Iacofano Goltsman (MIG) during its Nov. 9 meeting to update the city’s Park Master Plan.

Now, the process reverts back to the Philomath Park Advisory Board, which plans to meet with MIG Senior Project Manager Jon Pheanis.

Once the contract — not to exceed $44,250 — is signed and in place, City Manager Chris Workman said that the park board should expect to gather in mid-December to meet virtually with Pheanis, who wants to initiate a system assessment. The board could also come up with a plan for scheduling future stakeholder meetings.

MIG’s consultant wants to interview the board and other stakeholders as part of the process to learn as much as possible about Philomath’s intended direction with parks and open spaces.

“… We will facilitate a discussion with the Park Advisory Board to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges the master plan should address,” Pheanis wrote in an Oct. 27 letter to Workman. “This information will be incorporated into an overview of the current state of Philomath’s parks and recreation system and operations.”

Workman said candidates would be locals who have “shown an interest (in parks) in the past or have a specific thing that they’re looking for, or just people that have been around the community for a while that are involved or interested in contributing and doing those interviews.”

Workman said there will also be public listening sessions to open up the process to anyone who’s interested.

“I want to make sure the consultant’s got specified time for these kind of key stakeholder folks in the community,” Workman said.

The board briefly discussed various individuals who could be stakeholders, including Philomath School District officials.

“We’ll look at dates when we get to the January timeframe or so to do some larger public outreach and some listening sessions,” Workman said. “It’s a little bit tough during the holiday season to be pulling data and getting information from folks.”

The city’s Park Master Plan, which provides a road map for local parks and trails, was established in 2013 and last updated in 2016. The city’s Strategic Plan identified the need to update the Park Master Plan this year.

Through the request for proposals process, MIG ended up as the park board’s first choice and the City Council agreed with a recommendation in October. Workman then began contract discussions, which led to the proposal at the November meeting.

During the City Council meeting, Workman admitted that he was a little concerned on pricing with a $40,000 figure in mind for the job. The contract came $4,250 over that amount.

In conversations with the consultant, Workman said MIG preferred to have more opportunity for additional outreach, which would drive the cost up higher, but that Pheanis was “comfortable in getting a good product with that $44,250 mark.”

Workman said the city had budgeted system development charge money for park improvements on 16th Street this year but that was not going to be used. Instead, those SDC funds will go to the master plan update.

One contract issue that raised a red flag with the city attorney involved the wording included in a section on “ownership of work product.” MIG and the city attorney were planning to work together to resolve that concern.

Councilors approved the contract on a 7-0 vote following a motion by Doug Edmonds.